Two days after his family and bandmates reported him missing and expressed concern for his “fragile state,” Scottish police confirm that Scott Hutchison, frontman for the indie-rock group Frightened Rabbit, has died, various outlets are reporting. A body was reportedly found yesterday at 8:30 p.m. local time in Port Edgar, Queensferry, just west of Edinburgh, and was formally identified as Hutchison earlier today. No official cause of death has been released. He was 36.
Hutchison’s family has released a statement, saying the singer’s struggle with depression had intensified just before his death: “As a family, we are utterly devastated with the tragic loss of our beloved Scott,” it reads. “Despite his disappearance, and the recent concerns over his mental health, we had all remained positive and hopeful that he would walk back through the door, having taken some time away to compose himself. Scott, like many artists, wore his heart on his sleeve and that was evident in the lyrics of his music and the content of many of his social media posts.”
They add that Hutchison had “battled bravely with his own issues” for many years. “Depression is a horrendous illness that does not give you any alert or indication as to when it will take hold of you ... We are immensely proud of [Scott] for being so open with his struggles. His willingness to discuss these matters in the public domain undoubtedly raised awareness of mental health issues and gave others confidence and belief to discuss their own issues.”
Scott Hutchison initially formed Frightened Rabbit as a solo project, before recruiting his brother Grant to play drums. The brothers released their studio debut, Sing The Greys, in 2006, to critical acclaim; in a contemporary review, The A.V. Club’s Noel Murray called the album “urgent and tuneful” and “vibrant, inventive guitar-rock.” Billy Kennedy joined the group just before the recording of followup The Midnight Organ Fight (2008), followed by Andy Monaghan on keyboards.
Frightened Rabbit released a total of five studio albums, three EPs, and two live albums; of the most recent, Painting Of A Panic Attack, The A.V. Club’s Eric Swedlund said in 2016, “The album’s chief strength comes from the humanity in Hutchison’s lyrics ... Blended with the disappointments is an indomitable resolve that sounds familiar from Hutchison’s past, but it emerges here in a more pointed and powerful way.” Hutchison also released a solo album under the name Owl John in 2014, and just last month released an album with his side project Mastersystem, consisting of two brotherly duos: Scott and Grant Hutchison, and Minor Victories’ Justin and James Lockey.
Frightened Rabbit had just finished a two-month tour in honor of The Midnight Organ Fight’s 10th anniversary in March, and was set to go back out on the road later this month. Hutchison was last seen in CCTV footage leaving a hotel in South Queensferry on Wednesday; shortly after, he tweeted what would end up being a simple and heartbreaking goodbye:
Hutchison’s fellow musicians, as well as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, have been sending their condolences on social media.